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Showing posts from October, 2012

Walking it back: Nets/NBA claim, unfoundedly, they confirmed Nets debut because they didn't think mass transit would be so hampered

There's some serious revisionism going on in a New York Times article posted tonight headlined Nets’ Opener Against the Knicks in Brooklyn Is Postponed.

No one--not the Brooklyn Nets, the NBA, nor Mayor Mike Bloomberg--apparently will grapple with the fact that the Nets and the NBA, apparently with the cooperation of City Hall, confirmed that the Nets home opener was on even though they knew the subways would not be restored by the time of the game.

The article states:
About 19 hours after saying the Nets would make their regular-season debut Thursday night at Barclays Center against the Knicks, the N.B.A. on Wednesday accepted Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s recommendation that the game be postponed because of Hurricane Sandy’s lingering effects on the public transportation system.
...The league’s initial optimism — expressed Tuesday in a tweet that said, “Knicks-Nets game will be played as scheduled this Thursday at 7 p.m. — followed hopeful remarks by Bloomberg earlier that day wh…

How did the Nets game get postponed? What if a top local cop put his foot down? (a speculation)

(Note: Dialogue 99% invented. Ameri, when I've spoken with him, can be pugnacious but not profane.)

How exactly did New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, whose office on Tuesday let the NBA announce the Brooklyn Nets' home opener with the New York Knicks was on for tonight, despite the shutdown of the subway system, change his mind and yesterday announce the postponement of the game?

Press accounts are rather confusing. But it might have gone down in a conversation between NYPD Captain Michael Ameri (MA), Commanding Officer of the 78th Precinct (which includes the arena), and a Deputy Mayor (DM).

MA: I just heard this clown Brett Yormark on the radio saying the game was on after a "collective decision" involving all parties, including local government.

DM: Well, yes. We did all talk.

MA: Did you ask me?

DM: Well, we spoke with One Police Plaza.

MA: Did you call freakin' me?

DM: No, but--

MA: I gotta run the 78th freakin' Precinct--

DM: Yes--

MA: Lemme finish. I…

Bloomberg, with no chagrin about reconfirmation yesterday of Brooklyn Nets debut, announces inaugural game against Knicks postponed "at my recommendation"; NBA expresses sympathy with "all those affected"; CEO Yormark does a 180-degree turn

In a blow to the grand plan to have the Brooklyn Nets debut on national TV, the team's "historic" home opener tomorrow night at the Barclays Center against the New York Knicks has been postponed, even though it was reconfirmed yesterday despite the devastation of the subway system in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Was that the right thing to do, or was it because they couldn't get people to the game? Maybe both.

Asked yesterday about the postponement, he replied (in the video below) that he didn't know: "I did see the story on a well known news service that said that the NBA was going ahead with the three games, I guess tomorrow night, and they had not decided yet about Thursday night's game. Um, I hope they do it. I plan to go. It's going to be tough to get there because, remember, one of the great things about the Barclay's Center is the great mass transit that runs under it, unfortunately for the moment, not a lot is running under it. What t…

Times critic Kimmelman salutes Barclays Center (antithesis of MSG), raises doubts about overall Atlantic Yards plan, suggests "variety of architects... with different developers"

New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman finally weighs in with his review of the Barclays Center, saluting the arena for its design, fan experience, and operations--and calling it the antithesis of Madison Square Garden--yet raising significant doubts about the overall Atlantic Yards plan, both as urban design and urban planning.

He suggests that, by hiring SHoP to wrap the much-derided Ellerbe Becket design, the architects "have created something tougher, more textured and compelling, an anti-Manhattan monument, not clad in glass or titanium but muscular and progressive like its borough."

I think Kimmelman lets the Barclays Center off too easily on some fronts--if the Times had had better coverage of arena operations, that would have been avoided--but I'm glad he waited until after the arena opened 9/28/12 to write, since he does acknowledge some lingering issues. It's by far the most wide-ranging, and thoughtful of the reviews, as it recognizes this fu…

Nets game tomorrow without full subway service, but arena CEO promises some transportation news; expect NYPD to again prioritize traffic flow over ticketing scofflaws, despite promises of enforcement

In spite of the worst damage in the history of the New York City subway system after the storm Sandy, the Brooklyn Nets "historic" home opener tomorrow night against the New York Knicks will go on as planned, likely because the temptation--for the NBA, team, and arena brass--of a nationally televised debut was just too great.

Ticketholders will be challenged to drive, carpool, take the LIRR, ride buses, and perhaps use limited subway service to reach the arena, which was sited to rely on subway service. Nets CEO Brett Yormark tweeted that a plan would be announced today on the Barclays Center web site, though there's nothing yet.

Many Nets fans cheered, though one understandably groused that the Nets "don't care about the NJ fans." One commenter on Twitter called it "NBA hubris at its worst." WFAN's Craig Carton said,  according to CBS, "First off, half of us don’t have power, not gonna be able to watch the game anyway on TNT, number one…

Nets-Knicks home opener will be held Thursday; decision made before anyone knows if subway system will be working

The NBA has announced that, yes, the regular-season home opener for the Brooklyn Nets, a nationally-televised (TNT) game against the New York Knicks, will go on as scheduled at 7:00 pm on Thursday.

That's a rather aggressive decision, given that we don't know how much mass transit will be up and running by then, given that Mayor Mike Bloomberg said today that it could take three to five days before the subway system is back, after the devastation of the storm known as Sandy.

(Then again, you can bet arena developer Bruce Ratner has been in contact with the governor and mayor, urging them to make sure that lines serving the arena are functional.)

Whose interests rule?

It suggests that the interests of the league, the network, and the arena operators trump those of the ticket holders and the citizens of Brooklyn. USA Today reported:
The decision was made to play because players and referees will be in the New York region, and the NBA consulted with New York Mayor Michael Bloombe…

After storm, city/region/MTA face recovery; delay in subway reopening places cloud over Nets' planned home opener Nov. 1; Albert, Prokhorov offer optimism about Nets (updated)

There's been no word yet about the impact of the huge storm Sandy on the Barclays Center, other than the predictable (and early yesterday) announcement that tonight's Journey concert would be canceled.

However, given that the subway system "has never faced a disaster as devastating as what we experienced last night," according to Chairman Joseph Lhota, and the city faces enormous challenges after power outages and flooding, as reported by the New York Times, it will take days, perhaps more, for the city and region to recover.

So I'm not going out on a limb to predict that tomorrow's Smashing Pumpkins concert at the arena will be canceled. (Update: it was postponed.) Last night, the first in a week of Jimmy Kimmel shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music--a series keyed to the Brooklyn Nets season--was canceled. It's not clear whether tonight's show will go on.

The Nets opener

What about the much-anticipated Brooklyn Nets home opener Thursday, Nov. 1, aga…

Times says Barclays Center serves as magnet for yellow cabs; "clear ripples" from arena, but no mention of impact of black cars, livery cabs idling on residential streets. That's part of "new normal," too.

Update: in print, this article takes up 3/4 of the front page of the New York section. Contrast that with the five paragraphs devoted to the June 2009 renegotiation of the MTA deal, when the Times buried a story that suggested developer Forest City Ratner might be getting a sweetheart deal from a government agency.

Would you believe that the opening of the Barclays Center has doubled pickups by yellow cabs in the vicinity?

The New York Times explores that phenomenon in an article published tonight on the web, in print tomorrow, headlined Yellow Taxis, Rare Brooklyn Sightings, Multiply on Event Nights at New Arena.

It's a fairly sunny portrait:
Interviews with drivers, residents and traffic guards nearby, combined with city data, suggest that a pattern has emerged: throughout the evening of an event, drivers become more willing to perform drop-offs in the area, or even cruise in adjacent neighborhoods, because they can reasonably expect a return fare to Manhattan. And once an event…

Video: state overseer for Atlantic Yards says "I can only imagine people will love to have Sensation in their backyards" (but no response yet on booming bass)

The Sensation EDM (electronic dance music) shows this past Friday and Saturday (Oct. 26 and 27) at the Barclays Center drew an international audience and, going by the six-hour video at bottom from the first show, lasted until 4 am.

The excerpt below, taken from a canned promotional segment taped sometime before the show, includes enthusiastic words from show promoters and, astonishingly, the state official overseeing the Atlantic Yards project.

Arana Hankin's effusiveness contrasts starkly with the inability or unwillingness of Empire State Development, the agency in charge of Atlantic Yards, to protect residents on blocks near the arena from pounding bass inside their homes, a repeat of impacts from the Jay-Z concerts that opened the arena and, by some accounts, even worse.

It strikes me as another example of the Culture of Cheating.

New York as destination

The first video opens with a few words from Sensation creator Duncan Stutterheim, "So I hope now with all our knowledg…

After Nets' coveted home opener, tickets at three games already significantly discounted

Yes, there's huge demand for the Brooklyn Nets' home opener Nov. 1 against the New York Knicks, with tickets on the secondary market starting at about $175. (They were $200 last week.)

But the third, fourth, and fifth games are already on discount--and that's without some number of the elusive but highly promoted $15 seats coming open.

CBS Local, via Crowd Seats, has an offer for tickets from 44% to 51% off three games in the following two weeks. (And those aren't the biggest bargains--see below.)

Check StubHub

Also, StubHub--which is establishing a retail storefront on Atlantic Avenue west of the arena--has lots of even cheaper seats for those games, likely from season ticket holders who see these as less interesting and/or bought the seats as an investment.



Daily News, partner with the Barclays Center, presents 44-page special section honoring the arena (plus belated, deceptive Ratner apology to Globetrotters attendees)

The New York Daily News, sponsor of Golden Gloves boxing at the Barclays Center and sponsor of the arena plaza, today offers a "44-page special section introducing the Barclays Center," which includes a belated but slippery apology from developer Bruce Ratner to those who had to wait a long time for one show.

There's no disclosure of the business relationship, but the Barclays Center and its sponsors  (and a few others) have lots of advertising: Foxwoods, P.C. Richard, Modell's, Cookie's (with Nets gear on discount), Maimonides Medical Center, metroPCS, the Barclays Center, Bay Ridge Honda, Brooklyn Hospital Center, Queens Public TV (!), Disney On Ice, Brooklyn Cyclines, AECOM/Hunt (builders of the arena), Dello Russo Lasik Vision (official Lasik partner of the Nets), Elbow Room (new arena retailer), Brooklyn BP Marty Markowitz, National Grid, and the Brooklyn Nets themselves.

Hamill on Ratner

Of course, columnist Denis Hamill gets the big one, Barclays Center: Th…

Sensation again pounds bass into residences, as arena CEO claims "we are looking into it and we take the concerns very seriously"

It wasn't likely that those behind the second of two nightly Sensation shows at the Barclays Center would turn down the music, and arena operators were not exactly able to retrofit the building.
So for the second straight night, residents even three blocks away heard and felt the bass. One resident posted on Atlantic Yards Watch:
Can hear and feel bass from Sensation show at corner of St. Marks and 5th, and can hear it inside our home with window closed.

Totally unacceptable, annoying, upsetting.Tweeted Daniel Goldstein:
4 blocks away too. RT @lynfield: #barclays#atlanticyards the noise is coming into the house a block away - wow - just like jayz David Bivins tweeted:
@MartyMarkowitz Please follow up on incredibly loud noise from Sensations at Barclays Center. It's unreasonable. They're a bad neighbor. The arena brush-off

Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, responding to my tweet citing ""Loud, wall shaking noise from event" Again? Explanation?", claim…

Attendees love first U.S. Sensation show; neighbors feel bass in their apartments, just like the Jay-Z show; where are government overseers? (saluting Sensation, actually)

"No words needed," tweeted one attendee at last night's first-ever U.S. version of the European dance party Sensation, an event that drew people from around the country and world to the Barclays Center. "What an epic night."

"WEARING ALL WHITE AND IT FEELS SO RIGHT," another tweeted. "you were more than I could have ever asked for," added another.

Feeling Sensation at home

Neighbors near the Barclays Center also considered the concert an extreme experience, but in a different way: they cited bass seeping into their residences, as with the Jay-Z concerts that opened the arena, problems that provoked a belated response from the city Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and no apparent action.

"Incessant bass from Sensation show from 9pm to time of report at 12:41," reported a resident of South Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, northeast of the arena, on Atlantic Yards Watch.

Another resident, even closer at Flatbush Avenue and …